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Official Country Name: Department of Réunion
Region: Africa
Population: 720,934
Language(s): French, Creole
Literacy Rate: 79%

The island of Réunion, located in the Indian Ocean approximately 450 miles (724 kilometers) east of Madagascar, became an overseas department of France in 1946. As of July 2000, the island counted nearly 721,000 inhabitants.

The educational system is based on that of the mother country. School attendance is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. More than 217,000 students attend some 640 public and private establishments. Nursery schools and kindergartens exist for children between two and six years of age. Elementary schools are for the first five years of study, junior high schools (collège) for the next four years, and senior high schools (lycées) for the final three. Overall, the system employs about 17,000 people, including 14,000 teachers and teachers aides. Seventy percent of the students who complete their studies and pass a series of examinations in all major disciplines receive the baccalauréat, or secondary school diploma.

The University of La Réunion was founded in 1982. More than 13,000 students coming from all over the world attend classes at its four sites. They prepare degrees in one of the University's three schools (law and economics, letters and human sciences, and science and technology) or one of its three institutes (linguistics and anthropology, management, and business administration). University studies are divided into three cycles: the first lasts two years, the second lasts three or four depending upon the degree that is sought, and the third lasts for five years. Each one is sanctioned by a diploma. Students can also prepare a doctorate. Research is done in the Schools of Sciences, Economics and Political Sciences, and Letters and Human Sciences.


Academie de la Réunion, 2001. Available from http://www.acreunion.fr.

—John J. Janc

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